If you use Microsoft Office, Outlook, OneNote or Publisher, you may be interested in the free trial version of the latest products. Microsoft has made the Office 2007 Beta 2 available for public users. You can download the beta version and use it online for 60 days at no charge.
Microsoft Office 2007 has a radical new interface, and quite a few other things have changed. Office now uses pulldown menus less often than before, abandoning that concept in favor of a new "ribbon" for frequently-used menu items.
The trial version allows you to evaluate the program for a limited amount of time, typically 60 days. To use the trial version, you must activate the software the first time you run it. This activation is free of charge. Once the sixty days has passed, the software stops working. At that point, you need to either uninstall it or purchase the full version.
I tried the Trial Version of Microsoft Office and found that I didn't like it. The new ribbon menus struck me as very non-intuitive, and they cluttered up the screen. I also was disappointed that Microsoft Word 2007 saves in a default format of .DOCX files, a format that is incompatible with other programs. Luckily, the defaults can be changed. I quickly abandoned the ribbon menus and switched to traditional menus instead. I also found how to change the default files setting to traditional .DOC files.
Even so, after a few days' use, I uninstalled Microsoft Office 2007. I found that the new version didn't do anything that I needed and that is already available in earlier versions. In fact, I continue to use OpenOffice on my Windows systems. (This article is being written in NeoOffice, a version of OpenOffice for Macintosh.)
You may have different preferences than I do, however. You may prefer to use Microsoft Office. If so, you may want to investigate the changes available in Microsoft Office 2007.
- Don't install Microsoft Office 2007 over your old Office. If you do, it will be more difficult to go back to the old version after the trial ends.
- Don't load and save documents you have created with older versions of Office without first backing all of them up.
You can download Microsoft Office 2007 (and the free license keys) at: http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/getthebeta.mspx.